Saint Louis Hosts March for Our Lives Sister March

"No more silence, stop gun violence!"

Protestors+marching+at+the+STL+March+for+Our+Lives+on+March+24.+Many+brought+umbrellas+in+case+of+rain%2C+as+well+as+signs+carrying+slogans+and+messages.
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Saint Louis Hosts March for Our Lives Sister March

Protestors marching at the STL March for Our Lives on March 24. Many brought umbrellas in case of rain, as well as signs carrying slogans and messages.

Protestors marching at the STL March for Our Lives on March 24. Many brought umbrellas in case of rain, as well as signs carrying slogans and messages.

Credit to Madison Abanathie

Protestors marching at the STL March for Our Lives on March 24. Many brought umbrellas in case of rain, as well as signs carrying slogans and messages.

Credit to Madison Abanathie

Credit to Madison Abanathie

Protestors marching at the STL March for Our Lives on March 24. Many brought umbrellas in case of rain, as well as signs carrying slogans and messages.

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A young girl, wearing a Captain America jacket, chanting “We want a leader, not a creepy tweeter!”

A man, wearing a Hufflepuff hat, carrying a sign reading “Protect kids, not guns.”

Enough is enough!”

These were only two of the thousands of people at the March for Our Lives in Saint Louis on March 24. Marchers ranged from young children- some still in strollers- teens, adults, teachers, dogs and elderly citizens- some of them in wheelchairs, some of them using walkers and some of them walking.

These marchers gathered in and around Union Station, waiting for the March to begin at 10:15 a.m. They waited for the March to start in cold weather, with the threat of rain looming overhead. Even with the threat of rain and the cold, it still didn’t stop marchers from getting their overall message across.

“[There needs to be] Digital records, searchable records,” Tina Schulze, a former FHN parent said. “Limits on ammo purchases and clip size. No semi automatic weapons.”

Before the march began, marchers could walk around to different tents or walking vendors, some offering: voter registration, clothing for the march, buttons and March for Our Lives flags. The site itself was similar to a  Farmer’s Market. It was very community centered. There were people, who had never crossed paths before, walking up to each other and taking pictures together, complimenting each other on their signs and thanking them for coming out to march.

“[To people speaking up] I support them wholeheartedly,” Ashley Wagner, a freshman at Southeast Missouri State said. “I think it’s great to see kids getting in charge and they’re doing this. They’re owning their tragedy.”

The rally began with a speech and prayer from Rev. Darryl Gray and ended with a speech from one of the student organizers before she gave the directions for the march. Before the March began there was a moment of silence to all of those that have been lost to gun violence. Saint Louis seemed to stand still in this moment.

At the rally after the march the speakers included Rep. Bruce Franks, a democrat from Saint Louis, Marshata Caradine, a St. Louis area substitute teacher, student organizers and Liesl Fressola, a survivor of the Sandy Hook school shooting that happened in 2012.

“Today we are showing up,” Gray said in his address to the crowd.

March for Our Lives began after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting on Feb. 14, 2018. The shooting claimed 17 lives and ignited a movement.

“[I was] Devastated,” Fort Zumwalt teacher Debbie Teson said. “I had a great day with my second graders. Celebrating Valentine’s Day, love and kindness. To go home and hear that was devastating.”

The March for Our Lives campaign started soon after the shooting, spurring approximately 800 marches not only in the US, but globally. The main march was in Washington D.C, where some of the Stoneman Douglas survivors spoke. All the other marches were referred to as “sister” marches.

“It’s about time and I’m very happy they found their voice in this tragedy and could rally this,” Schulze said. “It just takes one person to start it.”

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